Oh, the grocery store. Let’s be honest- it is a TRAP! I can’t count the amount of times I’ve stumbled through the aisles picking up way too many things… especially things that are not even near being considered “healthy”. Prime example: they sell safe-to-eat cookie dough in a jar now. Don’t even get me started on that. All I can say is DON’T DO IT because once you do every time you walk past it in the store you’ll want to find a reason as to why to get it. Just, don’t do it.
This example perfectly leads me to my entire point: shopping for nutritious foods can be hard sometimes, especially if you don’t know how to do it, or what to buy. Today I just want to give you a few quick tips that will help you on your shopping adventures to come.
- Never ever (I repeat, NEVER) go to the grocery store hungry. You’ve probably heard this tip before, but honestly- don’t do it. If you do, you’ll end up picking up anything and everything that looks remotely good to you, and you’ll not only overspend but you’ll over eat.
- Shop the perimeter of the store. Why? Because that is where the whole, refrigerated foods are aka the packaged process stuff fills all the middle aisles. Avoid the middle aisle as much as you can and try to do at least 85% of your shopping in the perimeter and produce sections.
- Always go with a list. As soon as you step into that store, temptation is jumping out at you. Stick to your list!
- If you’re buying packaged food- check the labels, always. I personally look for labels with the least amount of ingredients and one that certainly has a low amount of sugar, higher protein content, and lower carbohydrate content if possible. Becoming a label reader will greatly benefit you and your family (it is scary some of the stuff they put into food these days, be educated!)
- Buy organic if you can. If you can’t make your whole cart organic, it’s no big deal. However, if possible get organic/range free/grass fed meats and be sure to get these 12 fruits and veggies organic as well.
I do all of the grocery shopping at my house, and while we are certainly not perfect and do not eat clean 100% of the time, I do shop 90% of the time on the perimeters of the store and find that 90% of my cart is whole, simple food. Unfortunately, this does mean that you sometimes have to go shopping more often because fresh food has an expiration date, but it is well worth it.
To give you an idea of the staples in my shopping cart and my house, here is a brief list:
- Fruits: berries, apples, bananas, kiwi
- Veggies: Zucchini, carrots, shredded carrots, cucumbers, kale, spinach, lettuce, asparagus, onions
- Meat/protein: Organic ground turkey, organic chicken breasts, Turkey off the bone from the deli, organic chicken sausage, egg whites
- Healthy Fats: Coconut oil, avocado, walnuts, almonds, extra virgin olive oil
- Dairy/Dairy Substitutes: Unsweetened almond milk, greek yogurt
- Starchy veggies/Carbs: butternut squash, sweet potatoes, whole grain artisan bread (made fresh at our grocer), quinoa, brown rice, gluten free rolled oats, almond flour
- Spices: Himalayan salt, black pepper, rosemary, cilantro, basil, oregano, cinnamon
From this list, you can make so many different kinds of meals. From salads to burgers to rosemary chicken and even healthy cookies… this list will keep you covered! You can see you rarely need the middle aisles to cook your meals.
One last quick note- I know a lot of people are going to wonder about condiments and sauces….guess what, you can make your own! I love making homemade dressings and marinades because I know what goes into them. Challenge yourself to do the same!
Hopefully these tips help you make your next grocery trip a healthy one! Feel free to use my shopping list as a guide. Enjoy!